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Crime

Mexico Outlines Murder Case Against Former 'Survivor' Producer

Feb 1, 2011 – 8:53 AM
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Tori Richards

Tori Richards Contributor

LOS ANGELES -- A defenseless Monica Burgos cried and screamed for help as she was beaten and smothered inside a Cancun hotel room by her TV producer husband, who then dumped her lifeless body in a sewer, a Mexican prosecutor said in an affidavit filed here Monday.

Unhappy with a wife who discovered his numerous infidelities and threatened divorce, Bruce Beresford-Redman -- the former producer of TV's "Survivor" -- plotted her death and then concocted a story about how she went missing after a daylong shopping trip, the prosecutor alleged.

Former Survivor producer Bruce Beresford-Redman
Damian Dovarganes, AP
Former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman, 39, is accused of brutally killing his wife in a Cancun hotel room.
A 438-page formal extradition request outlines the Mexican attorney general's murder case against Beresford-Redman in intricate detail, including autopsy and police reports, witness statements, photos and criminalist findings. Beresford-Redman, 39, fled Cancun after his wife's death last year and was later arrested by U.S. marshals at his Los Angeles home. He remains in custody.

The affidavit portrays a rocky 11-year marriage during which Beresford-Redman racked up a monthly $5,000 telephone sex-line bill, flirted openly with other women and carried on an affair with his personal assistant. But when Burgos, 42, withdrew all their money from the bank, kicked him out of their home and changed the locks, Beresford-Redman devised a plan to kill her in Cancun, the affidavit said.

"He had the time necessary to plan the way he was going to perpetrate the homicide. ... He knew he was going to cause her death," the affidavit said. "Due to his profession as a television producer, he was able to conceal the necessary details which would hide important evidence which would have incriminated him."

According to the file, Beresford-Redman offered to take Burgos on a trip to patch up their marriage and booked the $7,000 getaway. She was surprised at his actions because he never booked anything himself, the affidavit said.

Beresford-Redman ignored his wife's request to visit Dubai or take a cruise and insisted on Cancun. He also took out a life insurance policy on his wife. Burgos had misgivings about the trip and before she left, gave a box of important documents to her sister and jewels to the nanny of her two children, the affidavit said.

The couple brought their children on the trip and stayed at the pricey Moon Palace Nizuc in April. However, it was far from congenial. On April 4, a hotel employee saw the pair arguing near a restaurant, and Burgos started to cry. Beresford-Redman "attempted to physically attack Monica Burgos but stopped when he realized he was being watched. This was the last time the [witness] saw Monica Burgos," the affidavit said.

Early in the morning on April 6, neighboring guests heard loud screaming and crying, followed by the sound of something being dragged. It was so bad that they reported it to the concierge the next morning, who called the room. Beresford-Redman answered the phone and said, "Yes, it is true, what happened was that I was arguing with my wife over the behavior of our children, but it won't happen again."

At 7 a.m., he reported Burgos missing, saying she was due back from a shopping trip at 10 p.m. the night before. He searched for her around the hotel grounds when she didn't return and then fell asleep. The rest of the day Beresford-Redman had a "do not disturb" sign on his door and wouldn't let the maid in to clean the room, according to the affidavit.

Two days later, Burgos' body was found by a maintenance supervisor who had put together a search party. He noticed the lid covering a sewer was ajar and upon closer inspection saw a decomposed body floating in the water.

An autopsy found that Burgos had been struck on the temple with a strong object like a bat or pipe, her face had been punched, and her buttocks had trauma consistent with being thrown against the in-room Jacuzzi. The cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation. Police searched the room and found blood spatter throughout the bathroom, on a pillow, on a piece of wooden furniture and on a balcony leading to a garden area.

Beresford-Redman was questioned about the noise the night Burgos went missing and gave a different story than what he told the concierge. He claimed to have an upset stomach most of the night and it woke up his family. They then decided to play games including "acting Japanese" which including stomping on the floor and bed, the affidavit said.

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He was also asked about scrapes to his leg, neck and fingers that looked as if he had been in a fight, the affidavit said. Beresford-Redman claimed to have been climbing a rocky wall in an underground cave.

Police confiscated the producer's passport and ordered him to stay in Mexico pending the outcome of the investigation. However, "He stealthily left the country and took refuge in the territory of the United States of America," the affidavit said.

A Mexican warrant for his arrest was issued on May 29. Beresford-Redman proclaimed his innocence and resumed his life in Los Angeles. On Nov. 16, he was arrested by federal authorities.

A hearing will be scheduled in Los Angeles to determine whether enough evidence exists to extradite the television executive.
Filed under: Nation, Entertainment, Crime
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